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$95m mining magnate: 'The chat with my mother that shaped my empire'


The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and business people in Australia today. This is the second episode of the season. Watch the full episode here.

How do you tell your parents, “I’ve lost all your money?”

It’s a question most Australians won’t have to answer, but for mining magnate and AFR young rich-lister Tolga Kumova, it was more than a question – it was his reality when he was 30 years old.

A talented stockbroker, his parents had seen something in him and passed their entire wealth over to him.

Over time, he turned that $250,000 into $700,000.

But within moments, all of that was gone. The company holding the assets he was trading went bankrupt.

It wasn’t his fault, but you try telling that to your mum and dad.

“Going home to that conversation, I actually did not want to be breathing,” he told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief, Sarah O’Carroll on the New Investors video series. [Watch the full show here]

“Let’s just be really honest. You just think about your dad seven days a week, night shift as a taxi driver for 20 plus years and everything he’s ever worked for is now gone, right? Picture that.”

His father, justifiably, wasn’t happy and went off. But his mother was silent.

Tolga Kumova’s mother, and Tolga Kumova. Images: Supplied, Instagram/Tolga Kumova.

She waited until his father left the room before saying: “Son, do you know what? The money you lost today, one day you’re going to spend it and you’re not going to care. It’s going to be irrelevant to you. The day after, you’ll do it again, it’s still going to be irrelevant, and the day after.

“You are that smart. You are that intelligent. I know you are incredible. Don’t worry about it. Just go get it back.”

As Tolga described, it wasn’t just that his mother had confidence in him; her confidence gave him his confidence back.

And, he realised, now he had nothing to lose.

“I went out the next day, I’ll never forget it. Went out, had my normal coffee, my normal routine. Went into the office and I was like, “I’m going to make all of this back and then some.””

That attitude carried him through the rest of his career as a stockbroker and straight into his career as a mining executive, and one of Australia’s richest men.

He summed up: “You can be going well and then take a step or a decision that takes you another way. But for me, that moment was probably one of the most difficult positions in my life.”

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and business people in Australia today. This is the second episode of the season.